Sunday, 17 May 2015

If You Go Down to the Woods Today (DQ: Legion of Shadow - Scarlet in the Woods quest)

Previously on Destiny Quest...

Running mere errands for petty cash, Balthus Dire's time in Tithebury took a nasty turn as he agreed to help out Beatrice Fletcher, turnip-grower extraordinare. Dowsing Martha Weevil's turnips with some strange potion, Balthus was greeted by their transformation into murderous turnip monsters, which has put him off them for life. Filled with remorse (and hopefully he'd get some snazzy reward) Balthus agreed to help Martha get her own back. To that end, Beatrice is now a giant inanimate turnip, sitting peacefully in her kitchen. Surely now we can get back to something resembling a normal adventure? Let's find out...

Balthus Dire

Main hand - The apprentice (Sword, +1 brawn)
Feet - Crow's feet (Feet, +1 speed, +1 magic)
Ring - Widow's Band (Ring, +1 magic, Ability: Heal)
Backpack - Grime-coated key
Money Pouch - 3 Gold Crowns

Speed - 1
Brawn - 1
Magic - 2
Armour - 0
Health - 30 

Today we move on to the final green quest in Act 1. In theory, after this one they should get more difficult. Gossip travels fast around Tithebury, apparently. It's Valeron's equivalent of Albert Square, clearly. Some young girl has gone missing, so I hear. Turns out she's the daughter of this guy in a wood cabin near the, uh, woods. I seriously hope this quest won't be like that film. The man has a sword and a badly bandaged right leg. It is only too clear to me that he isn't in the best position to help me out here. The girl's poorly grandma, who lives the other side of the woods, is to blame here, if I'm being brutal. Scarlet Sunshine (the girl, as she will now be called unless she is given a proper name later) had taken her brandy and hasn't been seen since. The book once again gives me the option of deciding not to help and just returning to the map, and seeing what happened last time I helped someone out, I take this route. The end. 

I don't suppose it's these Goblins who live in the woods?
Just kidding. Before leaving, I decide to ask the man about the woods and how I can go about looking for Scarlet Sunshine. It is at this point he tells me she's called Liselle. Bugger. Liselle is the sort of name that sounds like it belongs on a "gentleman's site". (Apologies to any fine upstanding Liselle's out there!) The man grunts and tells me that it's perfectly safe if I stick to the path. Fail to do so, and the nasty goblins will come out and not play nice. And I must not look at Goblin men. Thanking the man for his advice, I head off to the woods. My journey starts off eerily idyllic, with chuckling streams and wildflowers lining the path. The whole scene reminds me somewhat of a recent book I've read as part of my degree, King of the Golden River. Sadly I don't think I'll find myself with the prize of a golden river by the end of my journey, but there's always hope, right? My moment of peace is broken by sounds of a screaming girl. Sounds suspicious. With all the reactions of an Olympic athlete I pursue the source of the screaming. I find Giselle tied up, something I suspect she may potentially enjoy. What she won't be enjoying, however, is the fact the Goblins who have captured her are busy going through her belongings. The swines! Drawing The Apprentice from its sheath, I prepare to fire the Goblins from life. After a quick duel, I deal a fatal blow to one of the pair, leaving the other to flee for his sorry little life. As I begin to give chase, I am stopped by a glaring Liselle, who demands I stop standing there gawping like the village idiot and cut her free. Her father had neglected to mention his daughter was a mouthy cow. Unfortunately she does speak sense; it would be more worth my while freeing her for now.

Hero Checklist: Saving a damsel
in distress - check.
Upon cutting her loose, she falls to the ground with a thump. Heh. Feeling as much satisfaction as I've had in a while at her discomfort, I eventually decide to ask her if she's alright. She seems pretty bummed out that I wasn't the handsome huntsman she was hoping to sweep her off her feet. Ungrateful brat. She says she fell foul of the Goblin's trap while she was picking mushrooms, but was sure her hunk of a huntsman would rescue her. But I spoiled everything. Controlling myself so I don't slit her throat myself, I question her about this hero who's clearly far more amazing than I. Predictably, he's "not like all the other men." A travelling gypsy, he's totally dashing and has more spunk than the global sperm bank. This all sounds too good to be true, but Liselle is clearly infatuated. I politely suggest I return her safely home to her father, and anyone would think I'd just asked her if she fancied a quick shag in the bushes. By that I do not mean she was delighted but rather horrified at my suggestion, and requests instead I help her find some findlewort so she can finish the recipe for the love potion given to her by the witch. Knowing how things tend to go down when you deal with this witch, I am highly sceptical that helping Liselle is wise here, and tell her that she is being a selfish brat. Liselle pulls out a sharp kitchen knife, retorts she can look after herself, and storms off. Sigh. Fools in love, eh? Oddly not given the choice to chase after her, I decide to go to her Grandma's house, like the silly girl was meant to be doing in the first place. A small thatched cottage is what I eventually find. A high-pitched voice greets my knock of the door, and tells me to lift the latch and come in when I say I'm sent by Liselle's father. When I enter, it appears I've made a right cock-up with proceedings. "Grandma" has got big, clawed green hands. Some illness, that. 'What big claws you have, Grandma,' I tell it. 'All the better to eat you with!' it replies. Well, bugger. Thoroughly annoyed I fell for Valeron's recreation of Little Red Riding Hood, I draw my sword to defend myself against what is actually a hideous hobgoblin. Taking quite a few scratches, I eventually slay the bugger, finding the remains of poor Grandma shortly after. I also claim a prize, choosing to go for the one that helps me the most, namely the Granny's Locket, a necklace that adds 1 to my Magic score. Hey, if it helps me become a badass warrior, I'll wear anything! Leaving the house, I decide to head off into the hills, making my way back as the sun is now setting. On my way back I come across a small campsite, presumably belonging to the wondrous huntsman Giselle is after. A rabbit is being spit roasted over a fire, while a pony is tethered to the nearby trees. Disturbingly, the pony is very unsettled, straining to break free and run for the hills. Equally disturbingly, I find a small broken bottle on the ground, leaking a a bubbling black liquid, not dissimilar to what you'd see in a cackling witch's cauldron. Even more disturbingly, from the other side of the campfire I notice a huge, amber-eyed wolf watching me, an oily black liquid seeping from its mouth. Oh Bugger.

Who's afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf? ME.
My initial thoughts are that this is the witch's doing again, that cow who's been a pain in my arse ever since I started journeying in Valeron. Well, I say initial thoughts. My ACTUAL initial thoughts are something more along the line of HOLY SHIT I'M DEAD. This is not the Big Bad Wolf I've laughed at as a child.This was a creature moving in for the kill. Thanks to the luck of the die, he actually caused me less trouble then 'Grandma' had earlier! As the Wolf dies, it slowly transforms back into a man, as I feared may be the case. As his body grows stiff, I notice the black liquid still coating his lips. After his transformation is complete, I become aware of a quiet sobbing from near the trees. Liselle is shaking, tears streaming from her face. Her beloved huntsman is dead, transformed into a terrifying beast before her very eyes and then slain by the man who'd rescued her earlier from a Goblin trap. As first dates go, you'd have to say she's had a rough one. Poor girl is blaming herself too. She did everything the witch said, and yet it still transformed him into the Wolf I've just slain. Go figure, kid. Now trusting of me out of fear of what has just happened more than anything else, Liselle is willing to let me take her home safely. I neglect to tell her Grandma too has bitten the dust - don't want to ruin her day further. At this point the book tells me it is too late to travel back tonight, so we spend the night in the huntsman's wagon. UMM. As I am a fine upstanding sword-for-hire, I would like to suggest I do not bed her, instead merely spending the night together. Regardless, we share a cheery old breakfast (not) in the morning of overcooked rabbit, then head back to her father. He is overjoyed to see her, and surprisingly not angry when I tell him of events. Instead, he merely shakes his head and sighs. The damage this witch is doing is starting to get worse and worse, and I fear it'll all come to a head soon. My head, most likely. As a reward for getting his daughter back safely, the man gives me his prized sword Goblinhewer. I ditch The apprentice for this, as although I lose some Brawn I'll gain Speed and Armour. I seem to becoming more Magic-orientated anyway so it's no real loss. Not a bad prize.

This quest was longer than my first two, with far more potential for different paths. I can only assume quests become more and more developed as I progress, with whole storylines missable if I take a certain route. Indeed, with a little bit of searching I discovered that it is possible to meet the Huntsman before Liselle gets to him, thus saving him from his cruel fate. This is a promising sign indeed moving forward. My journey through the quest was longer than the first two as well, although not by as many entries as it felt like. 


I had a few fights, and could've fought more Goblins and even a Crocodile if I'd taken other paths through the quest. The Hobgoblin managed to take me down to 12 health at one point, thanks to what was clearly dodgy dice throwing.

Goblin Poachers - Speed: 0 Brawn: 1 Armour: 0 Health: 20
Hobgoblin - Speed: 0 Brawn: 1 Armour: 1 Health: 12
Big Bad Wolf - Speed: 0 Brawn: 1 Armour: 1 Health: 15

Balthus Dire

Main hand - Goblinhewer (Sword, +1 speed, +1 armour)
Feet - Crow's feet (Feet, +1 speed, +1 magic)
Ring - Widow's Band (Ring, +1 magic, Ability: Heal)
Necklace - Granny's Locket (Necklace, +1 magic)
Backpack - Grime-coated key
Money Pouch - 3 Gold Crowns

Speed - 2
Brawn - 0
Magic - 3
Armour - 1
Health - 30

Ok, so I am now a weed who has no brawn. However, I'm gaining magical strength and will likely be favouring items that help that stat from now on. That extra speed point will likely prove vital as well. I'm woefully poor though, so won't be buying things from the Tavern anytime soon. Time for a review!


Monsters/other NPC encounters: Little Red Ridin.... Liselle was entertaining as a stubborn girl who had allowed herself to be blinded by love and fell right into the Witch's hands for a spot of "fun". The huntsman, for the record, is called Manni and is a pleasant fellow. That is, providing you catch him before he goes all snarly. The better end to the quest is helping him kill the Goblin chief, getting you a better item and some money to go with it. Bugger. Decently fleshed out characters for a short quest I'd say. 7/10

Storyline/Plot: The witch is becoming a real pain in the arse. Classic fool in love story given a real "Grimm" fairytale twist. Poetic licence a plenty but an entertaining little quest. Worth pointing out though - Why the hell do I not tell anyone what had happened to Grandma?!!?!? 7/10

Difficulty: A supposedly easy Hobgoblin reminded me of why it is exactly that the Speed stat is king in Destiny Quest. In terms of what I would deem the best ending of acquiring the best loot, I'd say it's a little tricky to get there, but nothing in the quest is massively challenging. 4/10

Seal of Approval?: This was my favourite of the three quests I've undertaken in Destiny Quest so far, and I'm loving the multiple paths a quest can now take, even if it means I'll end up missing out on some killer loot down the line, most likely very soon. Being rebuked by a fiery teenage girl made me laugh, being nearly killed by a measly hobgoblin did not. All in all, a very positive sign of things to come. Not QUITE a seal-worthy quest though, so have my favourite Little Red Riding Hood picture from DeviantArt I could find that wasn't too risqué to include.

This is cool. 'Nuff said.

Having now finished all the Green "easy" quests in Act I, we'll be taking a short break from Destiny Quest to do some other gamebooks. But fear not, DQ lovers - we'll be back in Valeron soon enough. I've finally got round to sorting out the Destiny Quest homepage on this blog, so you should be able to catch up on what you've missed far easier now. The moral of this tale is thus: 

If you truly want someone to fall in love with you, use your wit and charm, not a potion. Else they'll likely become a bloodthirsty wolf and try and rip your head off.

Apologies as well for the slight delay in getting this post up - my laptop decided to do a full restore mid-week and I had to re-do the first half of the post. Fortunately I've lost no files that were more than 4 days old at the time so we're all good! 


May Your Stamina Never Fail...

Back to Allansia we go, with a visit to a swamp that offers multiple quests to us...

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